January 2011

Field & Berry Groups

Jan. 3: The FLAB Group met today and plotted a trajectory for the quarter in reading classical papers in plant ecophysiology. Chris and Joe reminisced with valuable suggestions for papers to read and a couple of people we may ask to speak to us about their work. Six people agreed to lead discussions of particular topics with March 7th unclaimed.
Tasting: Jennifer Johnson brought three homemade batches of ginger cookies. All had ground ginger, one had fresh ginger, another had candied ginger, and a third had both fresh & candied. The more ginger the better!
Jan. 10: The Group met to discuss classical papers about Ecophysiology, particularly three articles in the January 1987 issue of Bioscience. Hal Mooney and Joe Berry led the discussion aided by visitor, Dr. Jennifer Funk who is currently working at Jasper Ridge. The importance of bringing together researchers in the areas of morphology & systematics with biochemists, ecologists & physiologists to form the new discipline of Ecophysiology was emphasized. (At Carnegie's Dept. Plant Biology this new discipline was called Physiological Ecology with Olle Bjorkman leading.)
Tasting: Bill Anderegg brought loaves of homemade whole wheat bread and two kinds of butter, one European and the other American.
Jan. 24: Discussion continued of the classical papers begun two weeks ago. Chris also gave us mini science bios of a number of the authors of those papers with whom he was acquainted.
Tasting: Kyla Dahlin brought three jars of Kalamata & one of black olives for us to compare. The olives had been grown in Greece, Turkey, Peru & California. Each was packed in brine with its distinctive flavor.
Jan. 31: Scott Loarie led Hal Mooney to discuss his seminal paper published in Ecological Monographs Vol. 31, Jan. 1961 with W.D. Billings. Their title was Comparative Physiological Ecology of Arctic and Alpine populations of Oxyria digyna. Hal reminisced about early methods of measuring photosynthesis and respiration in situ and how these measurements evolved to become more accurate and easier.

Alumni News

Congratulations to Adam Wolf who happily announced that he was recently married in the Manhattan City Hall, followed by a party at Grand Central Station. You may see other wedding photos at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/52001003@N02/sets/72157625689683035/#




Caldeira Group

Julia Pongratz gave invited talks at the following: Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE) in Gif-sur-Yvette, France, title "Land use change and climate - form Genghis Khan to geoengineering"; Workshop for Holocene land use at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany, on "Land cover change and climate in the last millennium"; Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany, on "Man, Vegetation, Climate - Short stories from the Carnegie Institution."
Julia was also recently given the Wladimir Peter Koeppen Award by the KlimaCampus in Hamburg for an outstanding PhD thesis in climate research.

Asner Group

Greg Asner reports that the biggest news is that we are mapping the Colombian Amazon this month. The Carnegie Airborne Observatory (CAO) team is comprised of myself, Guayana, Ty, James, Loreli, and John Clark.
Dec. 31: Greg added the following: We just completed the airborne phase of a new project to map 35 million acres of tropical forest in the Colombian Amazon. The project seeks to quantify the carbon composition of the underexplored Colombian Amazon, and at the same time, to support Colombia’s environment programs and their scientific capacity in the international REDD (reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation) arena.
For security reasons and to avoid heavier daytime cloud cover, we carried out the entire mission at night. This could not have been possible without my team of incredibly dedicated staff, our heroic pilots and aircraft engineer, and especially our Colombian partners, including the outstanding Colombian Air Force. We thank President Juan Manuel Santos and incoming Minister of Environment Sandra Bessudo for the inspiring visits made to us during the mission, as highlighted in the videos below. And finally, our warmest appreciation goes to Luis Solorzano and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for their dedicated support in advancing regional ecological science and technical capacity throughout the Andes-Amazon.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3Ngw2n1_AE (a bit of a spoof with a serious side, and the project as experienced by the team)
and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGhBC2I_CT4 (extended photos of the people and the place)
You’ll be hearing more from us from the western Amazon, and globally, in the months to come.

Jan Brown, Editor, Email: jbrown1@stanford.edu